Divine Fibers – The Universe Of Flax

Dominyka Sidabraite
MA Graduation Project
Supervision: Prof. Zane Berzina

Cooperation Partner: Sächsisches Textilinstitut (STFI),
Papiermanufaktur Berlin,
Leinenfabrik Siulas Litauen

The project investigates the unused resources of flax fibres and shows their diverse properties. These are interesting not only on a functional level (breathability, moisture regulation, sound absorption) or ecological level (sustainability, low energy footprint, biodegradability), but also as impulses for a creative debate that takes up its cultural significance and introduces it into new contexts. Last but not least, the strength of this practice-led research work lies also in the relationship between industrial and craft forms of production, which have been incorporated into the project through cooperation with a Lithuanian linen factory, a paper manufacture in Berlin and the Saxon Textile Research Institute (STFI).

The processing of the long flax fibre into high quality linen fibres produces high amounts of tow (Hechelwerg) – a by-product, which is considered to be a low-grade substance in the textile sector. The focus of this work is a creative and practical investigation of this waste material in order to discover its potential for more sustainable textile design and production. Through the employment of zero-waste strategies, the central question of the work is how an uneven and unconventional material can be controlled in such a way that both certain processing methods and quality levels can be defined.

The textile construction techniques used stand in close relationship between material, yarn and surface. Different “stages” of flax enter into new combinations revealing its varied senso-aesthetic and functional qualities yet remaining strictly a mono-material. The resulting surfaces can serve well for various applications ranging from product and textile design to sound absorption and humidity regulation in the room offering ecological and economic benefits.